Conflict, climate catastrophes, and the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed people in East Africa to a crisis-level food shortage. According to a report by World Vision, over 7.8 million people in the region are facing starvation, and an additional 26 million people in the region are living on the brink. The United Nations reports that over 12.8 million children in East Africa are severely malnourished.
Large-scale flooding and an inundation of desert locusts in late 2019 through 2020 caused crop devastation and led to a sharp economic downturn. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2021, it only exasperated the continuing food crisis with its lockdowns. Farmers could not tend to or harvest crops, and people living in urban areas in eastern Africa became stranded with limited food access.
According to an article written by Godfrey Olukya for AA News, members of the Uganda parliament have begun urging the government to move some of those living in urban areas back to their rural villages where they would have better access to food supplies. When questioned by AA News about the food crisis, Thomas Kapo Kigozi, a local leader in Uganda, said, “Many of us are either starving or on the verge of starvation. Police have blocked all roads to the city center. We are asking the government to provide us free transport to take us to our villages.”
ROWAN continues to work to help the people in our Uganda villages as they face this food crisis. Recently, Kelsey Hargadine, a founding member of ROWAN, held a birthday drive that raised close to $4000 for additional food supplies for our Ugandan members. And last week, Kremmling Community Church gave ROWAN a $5000 donation for much-need food supplies for our widows and orphans in Uganda. We are currently serving close to 400 families in our Ugandan villages, and these donations will allow us to give each family around $25 for the month. While $25 may not seem like a lot to some of us, it means a great deal to those who receive it.
We are so grateful for each of you who have donated to our food campaigns. In addition to helping provide much-needed food supplies for our Ugandan families, your donations are letting each of them know they matter and are loved.
All photos courtesy of Bob Ditty.